Balancing Act: Paper dolls that you can 'dress like women?' Yes, please.

My favorite response to the report that President Trump wants his female employees to "dress like women" was that photo collage, shared all over social media, of famous women in their women's wear - Mae Jemison wearing her astronaut uniform, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her Supreme Court justice robe, Malala Yousafzai in a head scarf and so on.


Why I'm letting my daughter watch the Oscars red carpet ceremony this year

As kids get older, it's harder to control what media they're exposed to. When my daughter was young, I could shield her from any red carpet hoopla during the Oscars and all the sexist messages it sends: rating women on their looks, glorifying luxury goods, and the fact that men slip by all the prying questions. Now it's becoming more difficult as she scans her Instagram feed for celebrity pics, and her friends are more up to date on pop culture events.


Social Security: Social Security celebrates Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over a century.


Movie review: 'Speed Sisters,' documentary follows first Middle Eastern female racing team

Parents need to know that "Speed Sisters" is a documentary about the first all-female car racing team in the Middle East. It follows the four racers and their coach as they compete in races while trying to navigate life in occupied Palestine. The dangers of living in such a highly militarized zone are clear: scenes show armed soldiers and explosions at military checkpoints, and there are mentions of air strikes and the use of tear gas (one woman says that the smell of tear gas reminds her of walking to school as a child). In one intense scene, a racer is shot at and hit by a tear gas canister. She becomes visibly upset and sustains a serious bruise. Most of the movie is in Arabic with English subtitles, although a few of the young women speak English. Swearing is infrequent, but "crap" and "ass" are said in English, while "bastard" and other insults show up in the subtitles. The women are excellent examples of the power of persevering and persisting even when being treated unjustly.


What you need to know about potty training

Toddlers are typically ready to learn to use the toilet between 2 and 4 years of age. Just like crawling, walking or sleeping through the night, potty training is a learned skill that can't be taught in one day. Rather than focusing on a specific age, you should begin potty training when your child shows multiple signs that they're ready.


App review: 1600, an augmented reality tour of the White House

Parents need to know that 1600 transforms a real dollar bill into the White House and its grounds in the app through augmented reality technology (AR). Center the app's screen on the face of a dollar bill and watch the images on the bill transform into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Tour the animated scene (among many others) and watch images such as the presidential helicopter land on the grass as Secret Service agents stand guard on the roof. Parents may need to help younger kids with 1600 because it's not easy to consistently tilt your device just right to continue the tour. When it hits a glitch, the app returns to the beginning, which can be frustrating. Read the White House privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.


Game review: 'Mission US: Flight to Freedom,' powerful sim portrays life of a teen slave

Parents need to know that "Mission US: Flight to Freedom" is an age-appropriate but realistic simulation of life for Lucy, an African-American teenage girl living in the pre-Civil War period, as she attempts to flee from slavery to freedom. This game is intended to be used as part of an integrated curriculum on slavery (resources are provided on the publisher's website), not necessarily as a stand-alone experience. Kids who play will get a sense of what it's like to be ordered around by a master, leave family behind to run for freedom, and have to make difficult decisions. Some choices will result in Lucy being captured, and the simulation will end. Given the subject matter, kids might find the experience to be emotionally intense; families are torn apart, people are treated poorly, and characters are unfairly imprisoned. The use of words such as "Negro" could feel offensive to some, although they're authentic to the time period. Most decisions have no right or wrong answer, which may be a new experience for kids. There are repercussions for each decision and, much like in real-life, you can't always know which will end poorly. Some choices result in "badges," which aren't rewards so much as representations of personality traits within the experience. As the game progresses, these personality traits come into play and help shape Lucy's life.


Kitchen fun: Banana cupcakes

For National Peanut Butter Lovers' Day on March 1, try making our banana "cupcakes." Use a piping bag and round decorating tip (or a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off) to pipe a swirl of peanut butter on a 1-inchthick slice of banana. Top with fresh berries, shredded coconut, or other healthy favorites.


Game tips: 'Fire Emblem Heroes': shards, crystals, and where to get them

"Fire Emblem Heroes" may simplify the strategy formula down to a mobile-friendly format, but it still features some mechanics that aren't explained as well as they could be or made terribly clear. If you're hoping to strengthen your hero-filled army, then you'll want to know all about shards and crystals. Here's what you need to know.


Parents @ Play: Animals, animals everywhere

We're gearing up for Toy Fair, where we'll be spending four days up to our ears in toys and games. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll fill you in on what's new and exciting for 2017. But one thing we can guarantee right now: regardless of whatever else is trending, animals will never go out of style. Here are some of our current faves.


Tuolumne River flowing on a quiet Sunday near La Grange

The Tuolumne River was flowing big just west of La Grange on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. A big storm heading into the Modesto-area and the Sierra foothills is likely to increase the river flow and also raise the chances of more water being released from Don Pedro Reservoir just to the east. (Brian Clark/
Tuolumne River flowing on a quiet Sunday near La Grange 0:33

Tuolumne River flowing on a quiet Sunday near La Grange

Perfect attendance leads students down the red carpet 0:43

Perfect attendance leads students down the red carpet

Get a glimpse of the damage to Oroville Dam's main spillway after several days of running at 100,000 cubic feet per second 1:39

Get a glimpse of the damage to Oroville Dam's main spillway after several days of running at 100,000 cubic feet per second

Jasmine Xiong on Falcons' playoff win 2:04

Jasmine Xiong on Falcons' playoff win